T Nation

Bringing Weights to the Developing World

I’m in my senior year of college and am just now starting to think about what I want to do with my life. My biggest areas of study and interest lie in Latin America and in Japan.

I met with a woman yesterday to talk about social entrepreneurship and the like, and she asked if I had expertise in any area that I could then use to help the developing world (we were talking NGOs, international development etc). Language would then be a mediating skill in bringing the central expertise (environmental skills, engineering, architecture what have you…) to a country in need.

I first thought to myself “Well no, I don’t really have any unique skills,” but later that day I realized I completely skipped my background and training in weight training and physical fitness.

So my question is: what are your opinions on the potential of using weight training as a community building tool in the developing world? (ie building a cheap gym and encouraging teen membership to get kids off the streets and doing something more productive with themselves)

i thought the problem in developing nation was food. kinda hard to build muscle w/o food.

[quote]toejam wrote:
i thought the problem in developing nation was food. kinda hard to build muscle w/o food.[/quote]

Food is not the only problem. Providing education in physical fitness and an outlet for pent up aggression (as seen in the success of Capoeira and BJJ schools near Brazilian favelas) go a long way to helping a nation. I asked for suggestions not idiot comments.

How are they going to behave themselves. You are training a potential army. Or, by “social entrepeneurship” you mean warlordship? The proposal is not without its merits, I admit.

in a couple years maybe we’ll see " Warlord so and so in such and such developing country, formerly FutureGL of Testosterone Nation, whose strict training and diet regimen for his armed forces has revolutionized the jungle "

Or maybe:
(Colombian cartel boss) is a happy man. Business has been wild, better than ever before and recent months have seen his biggest rival close down. Some say it has to do with his new retinue of muscle, who began showing up a couple years ago.

The reason for his remarkable success remains very hush hush, but sources say it involves a former Testosterone Nation poster. “They’re the biggest baddest bodyguards around,” says one witness. “They’re huge,” nods a member of a rival cartel, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.

“We’ve got guns, but they’ve got guns too.” His look recalls incredulity. “Sitting in the same room with 'em, you just don’t wanna mess around.” The boss’s men regularly perform feats such as bending iron, with one man reportedly even wrestling a mountain lion AND a bear. One bodyguard is even entering into the World’s Strongest Man competition. We wish him luck!

Don’t get your ass kidnapped.

[quote]valiant knight wrote:
How are they going to behave themselves. You are training a potential army. Or, by “social entrepeneurship” you mean warlordship? The proposal is not without its merits, I admit.

in a couple years maybe we’ll see " Warlord so and so in such and such developing country, formerly FutureGL of Testosterone Nation, whose strict training and diet regimen for his armed forces has revolutionized the jungle "

Or maybe:
(Colombian cartel boss) is a happy man. Business has been wild, better than ever before and recent months have seen his biggest rival close down. Some say it has to do with his new retinue of muscle, who began showing up a couple years ago. The reason for his remarkable success remains very hush hush, but sources say it involves a former Testosterone Nation poster.

“They’re the biggest baddest bodyguards around,” says one witness. “They’re huge,” nods a member of a rival cartel, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity. “We’ve got guns, but they’ve got guns too.” His look recalls incredulity. “Sitting in the same room with 'em, you just don’t wanna mess around.”

The boss’s men regularly perform feats such as bending iron, with one man reportedly even wrestling a mountain lion AND a bear. One bodyguard is even entering into the World’s Strongest Man competition. We wish him luck![/quote]

AHAHAHA!

Well I guess in all seriousness that a big part of such project would be mentoring kids. The gym would be just as much about teaching discipline and self-worth as packing on muscle. On a side note, does anybody remember the poster who got his own article a while back? Not prisoner, but some equally huge guy from somewhere down south.

Ok see now here’s an example of how not to do what I’m talking about:

[quote]FutureGL wrote:

So my question is: what are your opinions on the potential of using weight training as a community building tool in the developing world? (ie building a cheap gym and encouraging teen membership to get kids off the streets and doing something more productive with themselves)[/quote]

It’s a great idea. Look at CARE. They’re doing work in this field. If you want, I know some people in Kenya who do this kind of work (with soccer and tennis I think, I’d have to check).

If you’ve got some money for the summer and think you’re capable of getting yourself around in a developing country by yourself, I could recommend some amazing internships. If you’re halfway serious and this is the type of thing you’re thinking about, PM for more specific information.

Try googling “International Development and Sport.” Lots comes up.

A book: http://www.palgrave.com/PRODUCTS/title.aspx?PID=283308

CARE’s Sport for Social Change Initiative: http://www.care.org/careswork/whatwedo/initiatives/sportforsocialchange.asp